What is the Gospel?
The good news for all humanity is that Jesus Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, was buried, and was raised to life three days later.1
The story of this good news is the story of a just and loving God calling lost and rebellious creatures back to Himself. He has been writing this grand and glorious narrative of His goodness and grace since before time began. We enter into His story at creation.2
For His glory, God created this world good and peaceful and offered us the opportunity of unbroken fellowship with Himself. However, as Genesis 3 tells us, things went wrong. Through one man’s disobedience, we fell from this joyful state of fellowship.3
Sin entered our hearts, and with that sin, the world became twisted and fractured.
The harmony and peace that creation once enjoyed was damaged by sin and broken in disrepair. Since that time, God has patiently and purposefully continued the story of redemption. God sent His only Son, Jesus,4 who came and lived a perfect, sinless life and offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sin by dying on the cross.5 Jesus endured God’s wrath on behalf of sin.6 It was a dark and horrendous amount of suffering and death,7 yet peace and beauty and hope burst forth as Christ rose three days later from the grave.8
What was once broken, God restored through His Son. Through Christ we are offered restoration and reconciliation.9 God takes that which is broken and makes it new.10 God the Father invites His children into relationship with Him and into the newness of life Christ offers.11 We urge you to explore this story further. What God starts, He will bring into completion,12 and we pray that you would embrace this gospel and be a part of the story.
If you feel Christ inviting you to embrace the gospel of Jesus – inviting you into a restored relationship with the living God – turn to Him in repentance, and put your trust in Him and the work He accomplished on the cross to redeem and save you. Below is a “Prayer of Belief”, you won’t find this in the scriptures, but it might help you find the words as you put your trust in Jesus.
Prayer of Belief
Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen.
If you have any questions about what the gospel is and why we believe it or would like to have more in-depth conversation with someone, contact us here.
1 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Genesis 1:26; 3 Romans 5:12,19; 4 1 John 4:10,14; 5 Hebrews 10; 6 Hebrews 12:2, Romans 5:9, 1 Peter 3:18; 7 Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19; 8 Matthew 28:1-20, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-53, John 20:21;25, 1 Corinthians 15:12-34, 1 Peter 1:3; 9 Romans 5:10, Colossians 1:20-22; 10 2 Corinthians 5:17; 11 John 6:40; 12 Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 12:2
A look at the differences between religion and the gospel of Jesus Christ*
The great reformer Martin Luther rightly said that, as sinners, we are prone to pursue a relationship with God in one of two ways. The first is religion/spirituality, and the second is the gospel. The two are antithetical in every way.
Religion says that if we obey God He will love us.
The gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus that we can obey.
Religion says that the world is filled with good people and bad people.
The gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.
Religion says that you should trust in what you do as a good, moral person.
The gospel says that you should trust in the perfectly sinless life of Jesus because He alone is the only good and truly moral person who will ever live.
The goal of religion is to get from God such things as health, wealth, insight, power, and control.
The goal of the gospel is not the gifts God gives, but rather God as the gift given to us by grace.
Religion is about what I have to do.
The gospel is about what I get to do.
Religion sees hardship in life as punishment from God.
The gospel sees hardship in life as sanctifying affliction that reminds us of Jesus’ sufferings and is used by God in love to make us more like Jesus.
Religion is about me.
The gospel is about Jesus.
Religion leads to an uncertainty about my standing before God because I never know if I have done enough to please God.
The gospel leads to a certainty about my standing before God because of the finished work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.
Religion ends in either pride (because I think I am better than other people) or despair (because I continually fall short of God’s commands).
The gospel ends in humble and confident joy because of the power of Jesus at work for me, in me, through me, and sometimes in spite of me.
*Adapted from various sources including other Acts 29 churches and Redeemer Church, NYC.